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Am J Public Health. 2008 Oct;98(10):1779-86. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2008.138669. Epub 2008 Aug 13.

HIV/AIDS, reproductive and sexual health, and the law.

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  • 1Wayne State University Law School, 471 W Palmer, Detroit, MI 48202, USA. lancegable@wayne.edu


The law is a frequently overlooked tool for addressing the complex practical and ethical issues that arise from the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The law intersects with reproductive and sexual health issues and HIV/AIDS in many ways. Well-written and rigorously applied laws could benefit persons living with (or at risk of contracting) HIV/AIDS, particularly concerning their reproductive and sexual health. Access to reproductive health services should be a legal right, and discrimination based on HIV status, which undermines access, should be prohibited. Laws against sexual violence and exploitation, which perpetuate the spread of HIV and its negative effects, should be enforced. Finally, a human rights framework should inform the drafting of laws to more effectively protect health.

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